Ian's Reviews > The Member of the Wedding

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
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Jul 13, 12

Read in January, 2012

My father had a large collection of Penguin paperbacks which he had ordered direct from the publisher back in the mid 1960s. I'd always fancied reading a number of them, but always had far too many books of my own to read. I still have far too many books of my own to read, but my mother didn't see any point in hanging onto my Dad's Penguin's any more, so I picked out the ones I wanted and have been bringing them home in installments. I knew nothing of McCullers, only that she was female and considered an important US writer of the first half of last century. I vaguely recall my father telling me she was very good, so I thought her worth a try. But, to be honest, I'm not a big fan of the sort of Tom Sawyer-ish literature that is The Member of the Wedding. Frankie is a twelve-year old girl who has been invited to her older brother's wedding, and she fantasies about how this will change her and her life. The book was published in 1946 and is set in an unnamed town in the US South. There's some lovely writing in it, but there's also a casual acceptance of attitudes and sensibilities we now find offensive - particularly regarding race. The prose is simply-phrased and repetitive, and I much prefer the sort of lush writing of DH Lawrence or Lawrence Durrell. I'll give McCuller's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter a go, but if I don't like that, I'll not bother with anymore.
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